Hot rod heaven at expanded Sawyer Motors Car Show in Saugerties

(Photo by Samantha Moranville)

(Photo by Samantha Moranville)

The “best little car show in the Northeast” isn’t so little anymore. This year marks the tenth anniversary for the annual Sawyer Motors Car Show that first took to the streets of Saugerties back in 2004. According to Bob Siracusano of Sawyer Motors, there was no thought back then of what the car show might become or how long it would last. But as it has turned out, the show has grown in popularity so much with each passing year that this time around, it’s going to be a two-day event spanning multiple venues.

Sawyer Motors is partnering with the Kiwanis Club of Saugerties to celebrate the Fourth of July on Saturday, July 6 from 2 p.m. to dusk. Cantine Field will host a “cruise-in” as more than 500 colorful classic cars and hot rods arrive in Saugerties. There’ll be all kinds of all-American activities at Cantine Field from which to partake – from a carnival with a hot-dog-eating contest and dunking booth to an apple pie contest and a home run derby.

Siracusano says that the derby was inspired by an old tradition on Labor Day weekend, when the Saugerties Athletic Association used to gather up all the best softball players and have a contest to see who could hit the most home runs over the fence. The home run derby at Cantine Field on Saturday will cost participants $10 to enter, with proceeds benefiting the Veterans’ Shelter Project of Ulster County. Batters will compete for a $500 first prize, a $300 second prize and $100 third prize, all provided by Sawyer Motors.

Saturday will also feature skydivers and hot-air balloon rides, and the Cub Scouts will have a pinewood derby race. Live concerts of ‘50s music will be presented by the Big Smoothies at 2 p.m. and by Route 66 (flown in from Reno, Nevada) at 6 p.m. And of course, there’ll be fireworks after dark.

On Sunday, July 7, it’s all about the cars. Actually, this year it’s about the motorcycles, too, as there’s a place for them at the Sawyer Motors Car Show for the first time this year (Sunday only). Look for the motorcycles down at Diamond Mills on Partition Street. And like last year, a trolley will be available to take people up and down the hill on a continuous loop.

The cars will be everywhere in the village from 1 to 6 p.m., lining the streets in all their gleaming glory. Main and Partition Streets will be closed to traffic, although shops and restaurants will be open for business. Outside food vendors aren’t brought into the village on Car Show day, as local-business-friendly Siracusano would rather see the village restaurants have a profitable day.

Fifty trophies will be awarded to the vehicles, and there’ll be nonstop live entertainment on Sunday. In addition to the Greyhounds playing down at Diamond Mills, the Devotions will play in front of the Exchange Hotel, Route 66 will be on the main stage by Village Pizza and the Big Smoothies will perform in front of Stella’s. And look for sign-up sheets to win an all-expenses-paid seven-day cruise on Holland America with performers on board who include Petula Clark, Bobby Rydell, Lesley Gore, the Four Tops and Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Entering the raffle is free.

Every year the Sawyer Motors Car Show donates all profits generated by registration of vehicles, 50/50 raffles and activities like this year’s home run derby to a different nonprofit charity. Last year’s Car Show raised more than $26,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of the Hudson Valley. This year all funds raised will go to the Veterans’ Shelter Project of Ulster County, which has acquired a large home that it’s in the process of converting into a shelter for disabled veterans.

Sawyer Motors Car Show/Fourth of July celebration, Saturday, July 6, 2 p.m.- dusk, Cantine Field, Sunday, July 7, 1-6 p.m. Village of Saugerties, free; (845) 246-4560,



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